Liverpool City Region to host Major UK SmartGrid Trial - City at Forefront of Global SmartGrid Research


Liverpool City Region has been chosen to host a major trial of cutting edge ‘SmartGrid’ technology to improve the reliability and quality of electricity supplies as well as helping to increase energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

The project will see significant investment in existing network infrastructure in the area of south Liverpool designated for the trial and also position Liverpool City Region at the forefront of global SmartGrid development.

The region was awarded the SmartGrid project after a consortium, led by The Mersey Partnership, submitted a bid to Ofgem. The trial will be undertaken by Scottish Power Energy Networks working with EA Technology Consulting Limited; housing provider Plus Dane Group and Liverpool City Council.

The Liverpool SmartGrid trial will be the first of its kind in the UK and will deliver a number of benefits to electricity customers and the environment as well as boosting the economy by supporting further investment in green technologies with the potential to increase job opportunities. It also brings new IT and communications technology into the power-supply system.

TMP has identified the development of a Low Carbon Economy as one of four
Transformational Actions to deliver step change in the City Region’s economic performance to narrow the productivity gap with other UK regions during the next few years.

Lorraine Rogers, Chief Executive of The Mersey Partnership said: “SmartGrid technology has the potential to become the next broadband in that it is exciting and revolutionary. Winning this trial places Liverpool City Region at the forefront of the drive to deliver this brand new technology across the wider supply network.

“The SmartGrid trial will be the catalyst for investment and job opportunities in the Liverpool City region. At this stage, we can‟t predict how much investment and how many jobs, but successful development will create demand for meter manufacture; installation engineers; data processing staff and energy advisors. Hosting the SmartGrid trial has the potential to boost innovation and accelerate the move towards a low carbon economy. It also demonstrates Liverpool City Region’s capacity to work on world-leading innovation and technology programmes.

“TMP’s role has been to help bid for the trial to be in our sub region. Going forward our role will be to facilitate opportunities for the private sector and to maximise related job creation and investment.”

The trial covers approximately 1,200 residential properties as well as a number of businesses and schools in an area of south Liverpool bounded by Park Road and Princes Road.

Frank Mitchell, Director of ScottishPower Energy Networks said: "ScottishPower is leading the way with SmartGrid developments in the UK and is excited to be part of the plans in Liverpool. This new technology will help with the move towards a low carbon economy and bring many benefits to consumers, suppliers and local electricity generators, ultimately helping to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency. The work being carried out in south Liverpool has the potential to be at the forefront of SmartGrid development in the UK and the area could be one of the first in the country to benefit from the use of this emerging technology."

Subject to approvals, work is scheduled to start in summer 2010 and the trial will last for two years.

Liverpool city council’s cabinet member for the environment, Councillor Tim Mooresaid: “We’re committed to doing everything we can to help residents reduce their carbon footprint. This is a win-win initiative as it not only allows those involved to control how much energy is used, but in the long-term it will also potentially result in cheaper energy bills – benefiting the environment and their bank account.”

Ken Perry, Chief Executive of Plus Dane Group, said: “This is great news for these consumers. They will be at the forefront, leading a national pilot programme to take the country into the 21st century of positive environmental change. Residents will benefit hugely from SmartGrid and their experiences will influence how housing and energy providers throughout the country work together in the future to achieve affordably warm homes, increased local employment and improved energy efficiency.”

Media Information: Paul Ferguson, 0141 566 4515 / 07702 665 924

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